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Instagram has turned into a popularity contest.  Influencers will do almost anything to gain a large following.  The most common technique is to follow unfollow someone.   This has the quickest results and I’ve seen people’s account grow fast.

It’s one of the fastest ways to gain a large list of followers.  However, your engagement suffers and Instagram devalues your posts.  Posts devaluing is done when Instagram marks your account as spam. 

In other words, your posts don’t reach all your followers.  It’s the reason why some pages have a lot of followers with less than 1% engagement.  Also, it could mean they bought their followers.

Anyway, the key to determining whether someone is using the follow unfollow technique is to watch their interaction with your account.  It’s done by food, travel, fitness, fashion, and every type of influencer on Instagram.

Most use bots to do these things cause they’re a lot more efficient and they’re cheap.  To be honest, bots are absolutely amazing cause they can automate a lot of our daily lives. 

However, they’re very predictable in their behavior.  Here are some key things to watch:

  • Follow then likes or comments

Bots have a tendency to follow you then like or likes then comment on your posts.  It’s really obvious cause the comment will always be a single word like “Nice!” combined with an emoji.  The single word and emoji provides a safe and generic comment.  In addition, it’s usually one to 4 likes then the comment.

For example, in your feed, it’ll be a follow then a few likes then a generic comment.  If that’s the account’s interaction pattern, it’s a bot and you’re going to get unfollow once you follow back. 

It’s a guarantee like death and taxes.  I always suggest clients to ignore them and smile.  Why smile?  Well, they just boasted your engagement numbers.

  • Follow with no likes or comments

This is the most obvious one.  The follow generates a lot of attention because it catches your eye relatively compared to the like.  It makes you feel important.  If someone follows you out of the blue, it’s a follow unfollow account. 

It’s obvious cause there was no interaction between your account and their account.  How would they know you exist if you or he/she didn’t engage with your account?  How do they know your account is amazing without giving you a like or two? 

Why would they care about your account when they have so many followers already? It’s three common sense questions to determine a follow unfollow account.

  • Likes and comments then follows

This is a genuine follow.  If a person likes, or likes and comments, on your posts first, it’s an actual follow.  The reasoning is they took the time to look through your posts and they like your page. 

Now, this isn’t always the case because I’ve seen profiles do this then unfollow.  However, there is a higher chance they won’t unfollow.

  • Monitor with an app

There are a bunch of apps that monitor people who unfollow you.  There’s Unfollowers on Android and there’s Followers on iOS.  Those two are the most popular apps that monitor people who unfollow you.  However,

Unfollowers is a great way to monitor unfollowers.  However, it isn’t without its glitches.  It could be wrong if you have multiple accounts.  For example, it could report A, B, & C unfollow you on account Z. 

If your Instagram is currently logged in account Y, then it will unfollow A, B, & C in account Y.  This is easily fixed if you ensure both Instagram and Unfollowers are on the same account.

Followers is the most popular on iOS.  There’s a premium version if you want to use all its features.  However, the premium version isn’t needed if you want to monitor those who unfollow you.  I have a lot of clients who utilize Followers.


The ability for Influencers to monetize their accounts have created a ‘dog eat dog’ environment.  People are rushing to up their numbers to attract advertising dollars.  However, there’s a cost to Follow Unfollow people. 

The technique gets flagged by Instagram as spam.  In addition, Instagram will block your account from doing it for a few days.  Is Follow Unfollow worth it?  It depends on your goals.  Check out our favorite Instagram growth service here.

Learn how to start a blog or company here.

Photo by Andre Benz on Unsplash

The Doyens

Bloggers who want to help bloggers monetize their blogs and social media accounts.

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